Data Scientist, MDI Predictive Displacement Project

The Opportunity

Save the Children International has an exciting opportunity for you to join our team as the– Data Scientist – MDI Predictive Displacement Project in London or any existing Save the Children office location.


Around 80 million people are currently displaced by conflict and violence, of which 34 million are children, and these numbers are rapidly growing as climate change increasingly drives further displacement. The impact of migration and forced displacement forms one of the pivotal political and humanitarian issues of our time – one that impacts upon millions of vulnerable children worldwide.

In response to the increasing impact of this crisis upon children, Save the Children established its Migration and Displacement Initiative (MDI) at the end of 2016. The MDI places children at the heart of global solutions to M&D, works to ensure that they reach more children through effective, durable, and scalable solutions.

This role sits within the MDI and will drive forward the development of a transformational predictive analytics tool, providing critical information on characteristics of mass displacement crises, including scale, location, duration and demographic composition of displaced populations. This is a groundbreaking project with the potential to transform the way we respond to displacement crises, and provides an opportunity for candidates to use their technical expertise to improve the conditions of displaced populations worldwide.

The Data Scientist role will build on work to date through iterative model design and testing, validation and eventual rollout of predictive tools. They will act as the primary data science expertise within the MDI, and be responsible for improving model functionality and ensuring quality outputs. They will collaborate with our range of academic, humanitarian and private sector partners to make progress primarily on machine learning and agent-based models focused on conflict and climate induced displacement.

This role requires independence and creativity as we work to apply predictive technologies to the complex issue of displacement. The Data Scientist will also need to actively engage with ethical and protection considerations due to the vulnerable nature of the populations involved, and in consultation with Save the Children’s country office teams, in order to ensure operationally ready products.

In order to be successful you will bring/have:


  • Masters-level or higher in relevant discipline or equivalent experience / equivalent work experience
  • Advanced university degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Design, Data Science or other related numeric disciplines / equivalent work experience



  • Relevant experience working in scientific research or software development involving predictive analytics, ideally including machine learning and artificial intelligence for forecasting purposes.
  • Knowledge of analytical techniques including machine learning, agent-based modelling and modelling of complex systems.
  • Proficiency with a modern programming language appropriate for machine learning applications: Python is required, and skill in other relevant languages (primarily R) would be beneficial.
  • Knowledge of data structures and data management methods, the ability to analyse a problem and determine an efficient structure for the task; pulling of data/integration of data from multiple sources; ability to clean data via scripting language.
  • Experience of working with engineering and design/product teams.
  • Project management skill set, including directing and reviewing the work of others through software/innovation development cycles, ideally in a social impact context.
  • Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work collaboratively in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • The ability to work independently, in an entrepreneurial environment that prioritises creative problem solving and innovative solutions.
  • Ability to communicate technical topics effectively to both technical and non-technical team members and staff.
  • Commitment to Save the Children’s values.


  • A good understanding of current global migration and displacement issues.
  • Experience of working for an international aid organisation, including developing-country experience.
  • A strong international network within external experts.
  • Experience with machine learning frameworks and libraries.

We can offer circa £43,250 per annum (If based in UK) with an option of flexible working hours. If the role is based outside of the UK, National T&C (including pay) will apply.

This role can be based in London or any existing Save the Children office location on approval, provided the successful candidate has proof of eligibility to work from the preferred location.

Where we Work - Where We Work | Save the Children International

The Organisation

We employ approximately 25,000 people across the globe and work on the ground in over 100 countries to help children affected by crises, or those that need better healthcare, education and child protection. We also campaign and advocate at the highest levels to realise the right of children and to ensure their voices are heard.

We are working towards three breakthroughs in how the world treats children by 2030:

  • No child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday
  • All children learn from a quality basic education and that,
  • Violence against children is no longer tolerated

We know that great people make a great organization, and that our employees play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitions for children. We value our people and offer a meaningful and rewarding career, along with a collaborative and inclusive environment where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued.

Application Information:

Please attach a copy of your CV and cover letter with your application, and include details of your salary expectations. A copy of the full role profile can be found at . We encourage Early Applications as recruitment process may conclude before the closing date if a candidate is identified.

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our global anti-harassment policy.

Save the Children does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.


Deadline 10 October 2021

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